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Langstaff-Ellis Case Study: A Grand Reception for Anderson Orr

Langstaff-Ellis has proudly partnered with award-winning architects Anderson Orr for a number of years, delivering beautiful bespoke kitchens, dressing rooms and libraries for many of their prestigious residential projects.

When it came to their own project in a recent move of premises, they turned to the Langstaff-Ellis team to bring their vision of a beautiful bespoke reception desk to life.

Anderson Orr’s striking design layers undulating slices of lacquered Birch Plywood across Black Core Valchromat, with surfaces finished in Forbo Desktop Linoleum for a hardwearing and contemporary feel – ideal for a busy reception area.

Head of Creative Paul Everest says ‘This is an exquisite example of Langstaff-Ellis’s expertise in bespoke furniture design and craftsmanship. The reception desk brings together both ergonomic and commercial considerations whilst maintaining a uniquely beautiful organic form and we’re thrilled with the finished piece.

The desk is a stunning focal point for the airy reception area at Anderson Orr’s new Oddington Grange premises.

Maddy Bull, Interior Architect, says; ‘Our recently converted studios in North Oxfordshire originated as an assortment of charming, formerly agricultural brick barns. The extensive refurbishment we undertook accentuates many of the original features, including timber trusses, coffered concrete ceilings, and exposed brickwork.

For the Reception, it was important to introduce a centrepiece that really celebrates the character of the company, compliments the new premises, and delivers a dramatic yet understated aesthetic at the point of entry. A minimalist design – with fluidity of form, careful detailing, and high-quality materiality – the reception desk is a true work of art, and we are absolutely delighted with how Langstaff-Ellis have brought our concept to life’.

Discover another project with Anderson Orr >

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Contemporary Conservation: The Limes Case Study

In a quiet Oxford street close to the River Cherwell and Wolfson College resides The Limes a stunning Arts and Crafts era villa. The house and grounds have recently been completely renovated, extended and modernised by award winning architects Anderson Orr who turned to Langstaff-Ellis to fulfil their exacting requirements for a unique and stunning interior.

Ed Birks, MD of Langstaff-Ellis explains the collaboration.

“In a highly ambitious project, we were proud to work once more with a practice that shares our ethos creating solutions to meet their clients’ aspirations with timeless, inspiring design.

“The commission involved all the major rooms of the house, with a combination of bespoke integrated and free standing furniture that reflects the life styles and artistic vision of the clients, within the architectural language developed by Anderson Orr.”

At the heart of the home is a fine library containing the client’s comprehensive collection of literature and poetry. Full height shelving and base cabinets are created from solid oak with oak veneer in a smoky black oak finish. Within the shelves we have incorporated subtle touches such as the sliding desk drawer on which to rest a book for casual browsing. Industrial style Armac Martin brass handles give the cabinet drawers a contemporary finish.

Most striking of all is the unique doorway; within the deep door lining we have engraved quotes from the client’s favourite poets, including Tennyson, T.S. Elliot, Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. Picked out in gold lacquer the profound quotes provide an insight into the client’s thinking and an impressive entranceway to the library. Please see the images below.

The bedrooms and dressing rooms have been given similar attention to detail. Wardrobes, dressing tables and chests of drawers have a clean beaded design in a number of complementary styles ranging from integrated full height units to free standing wardrobes and chests. Concealed lighting is integral to the sweeping full height units, picking out the beautiful shade of the aromatic Cedar of Lebanon used in the dovetail drawer boxes and wardrobe backs.

Bespoke cabinetry in the bathrooms continue the theme in the upper floors with subtle grey beaded panels evoking the arts and crafts feel of the home, used for the bath surround and integrated cupboards.

Downstairs the functional boot room is fully kitted out with spray finished storage and hanging space, using a custom hanging rail beneath artfully finished beech storage boxes and veneered solid oak drawers.

In the lounge there is an unusual cupboard unit that hovers above the floor. Its simple, elegant white finish conceals a frameless design more often seen in kitchen wall mounted cabinets but make it a focal point in a reception room.

Within the dining room we have built a modern take on the traditional dresser. Flat fronted and spray finished in graphite grey the large unit boasts three layers of glass shelving behind six tall doors and 18 panes of glass. The back is finished in solid oak that features integrated lighting to highlight the objects within.

“This was an incredibly satisfying if complex project, there was so much going on in the house that we eventually created furniture for every room.” Comments Ed

“The dresser is a lovely piece of furniture and once we’d finished the initial commission through Anderson Orr it was gratifying to be commissioned by the client to create some additional pieces, hence there is a whole range of free standing tables and side tables throughout the home that complement our other work and the house itself.”

Creating elegant interiors for every room of the home is just one of the areas that Langstaff-Ellis specialises in. They are amongst the few English furniture makers that have the design, build and service skills to fulfil large scale commissions from architects, interior designers and clients with the ambition to create unique interiors. 

To discover how Langstaff-Ellis can help fulfil your interiors vision please contact us using the details below.

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Consistent & Precise

How advanced spray finish technology creates better interiors.

When we think about cabinetry we mostly think about the craftsmanship, the precision cutting and joinery that goes into making an elegant piece of furniture. But there is far more to a finished piece than just expert cabinet making, because mostly what you are seeing is a product that has a finish applied to it.

Of course, there are designs that call for the wood to be the star, but even those pieces will have been treated, polished and lacquered to preserve and enhance the beauty of the grain. A lot of the time however, if you think about most kitchen cabinets for example, they are painted in one particular colour, with the modern trend to either be very light in appearance or the opposite with dark shades of blue featuring heavily.

Paint technology and indeed paint application technology has developed in leaps and bounds over the last decade, the paints themselves and the spray technology are sophisticated and precise technologies that can deliver a beautiful, hard wearing, uniform finish no matter the shade.

State-of-the-art spray paint technology

At Langstaff-Ellis we have always believed a great finish is incredibly important and have invested in state-of-the-art spray technology coupled with solvent free paints in order to create finishes our clients enjoy living with every day.

Traditional spray-painted finishes are done by hand which means they can be inconsistent, the degree of coverage measured by eye. For us that approach is just not precise enough. We value precision and consistency in everything we do, it’s what makes our joinery stand out, so we need to deliver the same quality in the finishing too.

Hence Langstaff-Ellis is one of the few businesses in the UK to invest in advanced German CNC spray booth technology to deliver consistent and precise finishes for every job. This technology gives us a high degree of control; within an enclosed unit four high pressure assisted spray guns move over the surface of the material at the same height providing the same weight of coverage no matter the size, shape or contours of the piece.

Greener paints

Water based paints are part of our commitment to creating a greener company. Known as

waterborne acrylics these paints are much kinder to the environment. Whereas traditional solvent based paints contain volatile chemicals that are difficult to dispose of, modern water based acrylics are equal in performance, have a longer usable life and are easier to dispose of safely.

Lewis Crook our head of spray finishing explains how the combination of the advanced spray booth, an experienced team and water-based acrylics has improved quality and productivity.

“The beauty of what we are doing now is how we combine the skills of an experienced hand sprayer alongside the modern technology, it’s what sets us apart.

The new water-based acrylics are also better to work with from a health and safety point of view, without the toxicity of the older paints, but they’re also quick drying in our blast oven.

 Overall, the combination of technologies means we can be faster while delivering the same precise finish time after time.”

Matching client’s high standards

Clients that use Langstaff-Ellis whether interior architects, designers, developers or private clients demand high-quality. They have a vision for the spaces they design and need their interiors partner to fulfil the vision with meticulous design, quality finishes and exacting build standards.

Our investment in spray technology is just one of the elements that allows us to deliver the premium quality interiors Langstaff-Ellis are renowned for.

To learn more about our processes and to discuss the design and creation of premium quality interiors please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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Langstaff Ellis Case Study – Stunning Chelsea Home

Chelsea Luxury

One of the elements that sets us apart from our competitors is our desire to collaborate with outstanding designers. Working with interior and architectural designers challenges our own design skills and pushes us to develop exciting creative solutions that filter into our work for other clients.

We’ve been lucky therefore to work on a number of projects with renowned architectural and interior designers April Hamilton. For over 25 years April Hamilton have been creating remarkable interiors for a luxury client base from their design studio in Surrey and showroom in Chelsea Harbour.

April Hamilton’s values align very closely to our own, they appreciate that every project and every client is unique, that location and history can influence design and that every project is a blank canvas. Like Langstaff-Ellis they approach new projects with passion, enthusiasm and excitement, which is why we are always thrilled to work with their amazing creative team.

Stunning furniture for a stunning home

Our recent partnership on a stunning Chelsea townhouse is a wonderful example. While April Hamilton reengineered the interior, removing walls and reimagining spaces the Langstaff-Ellis team designed furniture solutions that perfectly enhance this luxury home.

One example of this is the full height shelving cabinets created for the lounge and finished in the same subtle grey as the surrounding walls. As with all of our designs we created a fully rendered 3D design that was in this case signed off by the April Hamilton interiors team prior to the build.

Cutting edge technology

One of the Langstaff-Ellis differentiators is that we do something special when it comes to using cutting edge technology, even when creating traditional looking designs. Because we have invested in smart technology we are able to cut incredibly precisely, something reflected in the precision joints of our furniture. Hence once a design is signed-off it can be fed directly into our high-spec CNC machinery.

This process gives us huge flexibility to produce designs that would be too time-consuming and costly to make the traditional way while facilitating quick production and premium level quality assurance.

While modern machinery provides cost savings, accuracy and consistency, this is anything but a production line because each project and each piece of furniture we make is unique. In fact, one of the major benefits is the ease with which bespoke pieces of furniture can be created from scratch.

What that means is that design challenges can be overcome before a single piece of timber has been cut. This was the case with one of the cabinets created for the Chelsea project. The challenge was to conceal a radiator beneath the cabinet without impairing its effectiveness, our solution was to design discreet ventilating louvre doors that look good and blend in as an integral piece of the overall design.

Our use of technology also gives us the ability to subtly adapt a design so for example, the corresponding cabinet in the roof terrace office is clearly part of the same family but has been altered to accommodate a built-in desk where the integrated TV previously sat.

Each of the cabinets is enhanced with subtle lighting cleverly fitted within routered grooves within the shelving, and all wiring neatly concealed from view. The lighting picks out the contrasting dark blue back panel of the cabinet, creating a pleasing piece just as April Hamilton envisaged.

Clever solutions

A further striking feature of the Chelsea project, and a challenge for us were the sliding mirrored doors fitted to replace a wall between the guest bedroom and newly created dressing room.

Where most joinery companies would install traditional doors, we saw this as an opportunity to use mirrors and sliding doors to give the impression of a much larger space while being far less intrusive.

The challenge most cabinetmakers face is with the weight of the mirror, which creates extra stresses on the joinery. Our sophisticated software means that we can test and model the design prior to building the door, including testing all the stresses, knowing the completed piece will work perfectly and will maintain its integrity over time. It also looks stunning especially with the neatly bevelled edge bringing a softer tactile level of detail.

Our collaboration with April Hamilton means that all the joinery in this beautiful Chelsea townhouse is finished to an exacting level of detail, helping create a home that is both luxurious and comfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

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Leading the field in English interiors

A premium interiors company in the heart of the Chiltern Hills are the epitome of high-quality design and furniture making. Driven by a desire to create unique interiors for every client this blog explores the motivation behind Langstaff-Ellis, a very English company.

“We’re perched on top of a steep hill overlooking the Chilterns, there’s nowhere else in the world that looks like this, it is I suppose quintessentially English” so says Alex Langstaff-Ellis standing outside the factory and design studio his eponymous company has occupied since 2016.

The Chilterns are probably one of England’s most unexplored but beautiful regions, a 450 square mile expanse of rolling hills and characteristic beech woodland to the north of London, stretching from Hitchin in the east to Goring-on-Thames in the west, it is in many ways the ideal location for a premium English interiors company.

“Every morning as I drive up the hill, through the woods from Chinnor I appreciate the beauty of my surroundings,” says Alex “the way the light and the leaves change with the seasons is stunning, especially during Autumn when the experience of seeing the golden leaves all around is spectacular.”

Clearly Alex is a champion for the unique woodlands of the area, and it is that appreciation of the beauty of wood that informs both the customer service and English design aesthetic that pervades the interiors and stunning cabinetry created at Langstaff-Ellis.

“I like to think what sets us apart isn’t just our attention to detail, let’s face it every company will tell you that, but it’s the attitude we have towards the furniture we produce and towards our clients. I guess it’s that old fashioned sense of wanting to provide a perfect service, where the customer is happy at every step, but with the reassurance that we can back it up with knowledge, resources and skills as furniture makers.”

I suppose you could compare us to a bespoke Savile Row tailor. You don’t go there for the every day, but for something special, something unique perfectly suited to your needs, where you have design, material and colour options, and you know whatever gets made for you is created by experts and will fit perfectly”

Sitting in the design studio, the warm smell of cut wood pervading the atmosphere as the bustling workshop below goes about its highly skilled business, Alex warms to his theme,

“Think about classic British cars, Aston Martin or Bentley for example, even now they’re not showy, they’re understated but have an extraordinary elegance and build quality. We’re doing the same here in the Chilterns providing timeless understated elegance with extraordinary build quality, but in our case for homes.”

The quality of Langstaff-Ellis’s interiors is self-evident when you look at some of their recent projects, from the stunning modernist walnut cabinetry for a huge kitchen in Harpsden to the understated simplicity of the dressing and boot rooms for a manor house renovation in Stow-on-the-Wold.  That same elegance and extraordinary build quality can be seen throughout the Langstaff-Ellis portfolio.

Ed Birks the MD at Langstaff-Ellis and the man who guides the design and build process is equally proud of the classic English qualities of the businesses premium home interiors.

“We’ve evolved over the last few years,” he explains “as a young business we had to learn exactly what would set us apart from the artisan cabinet makers and kitchen companies. Where we are now is a completely different place, working at a fundamental level with clients, architects and interior designers to create unique home interiors.” Emphasising the point Ed goes on, “We’re there to fulfil a complete aesthetic vision for a home’s interior. That is why you now see our furniture in bedrooms, dressing rooms, bathrooms, lounges, dining rooms and utility rooms, alongside the kitchens.”

Our understanding of design brings a thematic unity throughout the home, in some ways you could say we’ve taken the idea of the traditional English country house as a model but crucially we’ve ditched the tired chintz and stiff formality, replacing it with modern design, finishes and materials to create a particular aesthetic.”

Supporting Langstaff-Ellis’s design vision is an impressive investment in both people and technology. As Alex will be the first to tell you, precision cutting and finishing machinery help to create much higher quality furniture with a build quality that is unachievable by hand alone.

“Even though we have nothing but admiration for traditional craftsmen, we realised early on that modern tools and techniques aligned to traditional skills allows us to deliver a much better product for our clients.”

For example, designs from the studio can be fed directly into our cutting machines, giving us precise control, without the inevitable variations even the best craftsmen create with hand tools. It’s one of the reasons why luxury developments use us, they know we’ll create beautiful precision furniture for every single home.”

Which isn’t to say the business doesn’t have superb craftsmen, in fact, the team in the workshop boast some impressive credentials from prestigious English furniture schools, including the renowned Rycotewood Furniture College just down the road in Oxford.

“It’s important for us to support locally trained people, we’re part of the community,” explains Ed, “but it’s not just altruism, having a workshop team who are skilled furniture makers in their own right, combined with the tech we use gives us the ability to create and deliver complex cutting-edge designs that both look impressive in the home and will stand the test of time.”

It’s a rewarding experience visiting the Langstaff-Ellis design studio and factory. The business has a refreshing openness and willingness to adopt the best of the new, in terms of technology, but combining it with old fashioned English values of customer service and understated design, along the way creating a stunning design aesthetic all of their own.

Unashamedly at the premium end of the market, Langstaff-Ells fully justify their reputation as one of England’s leading contemporary interior makers.